Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Flowers for Reggie

Yesterday was a bit surreal as I stood by Reggie's grave site, with my family, awaiting my turn to offer a flower for him. I held a red rose that I would smell from time to time as I waited and my mind wandered. We have to stop meeting like this. There is definitely a better way to have family come together. I didn't know Reggie very well but modern technology helped us to get just a little closer. It would have been great to get to know each other better. I did what most of us do, I assumed there would be time. I looked forward to the holidays and the talks of a Summer 2011 family reunion to spend time with those who are also a part of my bloodline. But we never know when we will run out of time. A close friend of Reggie's spoke at his funeral and her words were simple yet profound: Stop texting. Pick up the phone and call someone. Wow, this world has really changed. The pace is getting faster and faster and we are growing further and further away from the human connection.

I remember the feeling of excitement as I pulled on my Tate Family Reunion t-shirt. I remember the feeling of being a part of something big and something great. I looked forward to spending time in the park with my family from different parts of the country. We played games, we laughed, we ate, we danced and we were one unit: white t-shirts with green lettering and a green tree on the front signifying our unity. But yesterday I did not feel any of that. It was crazy to have my great uncle look at me as if I was a leper, stiffening in my embrace. "I'm Chi-Wee's daughter," I said as moved as far away from him as he wanted me to be. We are separate now, no longer a unit. The two matriarchs of the Tate Family lay in an unmarked grave just a few feet behind where I stood holding a rose for Reggie. Five years later and our family has scattered so much so that we have left them without a marker.

I fell in line with family I have never known to offer a rose. I smelled it one last time and thought, "I would like to receive flowers while I can still smell them." I offered my rose to Reggie and a prayer to follow him on the next part of his journey.

Maybe Reggie's time here was meant to brighten as many lives as possible and to bring us back together. We'll never know but what is prominent here is time is not on our side. I don't want to bring flowers for someone else who can no longer appreciate them. The flowers that I bring or are brought to me, I would like them sitting on a table between me and the person (or people) that I am spending quality time with and getting to know better.

My favorites are Calla Lilies.


  1. I feel this way regarding my family. Once we were so connected, reunions, calls, random get-togethers... now, nothing. I hardly even talk to my immediate family, let alone cousins, great aunties, etc. I have seen family randomly when out and about and they look at me like I am crazy, the world has definitely changed and if my grandparents were alive to see it they would not be pleased at all. They were sticklers for family togetherness... sigh.

  2. This is a really moving post! Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. Thank you for reading and tweeting! I get excited when ppl read my work and are moved. I said, "Babe, look, I got a mention!" LOL! He's not even on twitter so he's like, "oh, okay..." LOL!